@aimiende: What’s a defining moment in your life?

Wow, that’s a tough one. I think the moment it became crystal clear to me that I was in fact a second class citizen. I grew up in Nigeria, and like any other place in the world, it has its problems. Parts of my life there were pleasant, others not so much. And, I understood that in my culture (the culture I experienced), being a woman meant that my life was not going to be a walk in the park. Coming here to the States meant to me that that was going to be different; as in — here, being a woman was not going to be or create a barrier for me. I was wrong. I quickly learned that being a woman, a black nappy haired dark skinned woman to be precise, did in fact have its drawbacks in this country. I can’t pick one moment to share, because there were several from my campus days to being in the corporate world to now that culminated into that defining moment for me. 

On a positive note, however, realizing that I can successfully make a film without a background in filmmaking, have it screen to a diverse audience, and then win a series of awards for said film…, definitely changed my life. That first moment was at the awards ceremony of the 2013 Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in New York, where I won my first award, Best Short Film, for my very first short film: Asa, A Beautiful Girl.

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